Happy New Year everyone! I often get asked about how to get started with Microsoft Azure, and what is the best way to learn cloud computing and Microsoft Azure. So, I thought I put this in a simple blog post, especially for those who made some new year’s resolutions. In this blog post, I will try to give you a quick look at how you can get started to learn Microsoft Azure in 2022 and the cloud computing era.
Get Azure hands-on experience
There is nothing better than hands-on experience to learn about a subject. What many people don’t know, there is a free Azure account offering which allows you to try out Microsoft Azure. Your Azure free account includes a limited quantity of free services for 12 months, plus over 40 Azure services which are always free. Within these limits, you have the flexibility to use free services in various configurations to meet your needs. If you sign up for a free Azure account, you also get $200 USD of Azure credit which you can use in 30 days.
To learn more, see the Azure free account FAQ
Create your Azure free account today and get started with 12 months of free services, plus over 40 services which are always free!
Use Microsoft Learn to learn Microsoft Azure in 2022
Sometimes it is not that easy to get hands-on experience on Microsoft Azure since some of the services cost money or you just can’t find the right project to work on. Microsoft Learn provides you with various learning paths depending on your job role or the skills you are looking for. Most of the learning paths give you a hands-on learning opportunity so that you can develop practical skills through interactive training using free sandboxes.
Microsoft Learn is free! You get instant in-browser access to Microsoft tools and modules; no credit card required, and with that is a terrific way to learn Microsoft Azure in 2022.
Microsoft Learn also offers a learning path to learn Microsoft Azure Fundamentals and describe core Azure concepts, with the following modules:
- Part 1: Describe core Azure concepts
- Part 2: Describe core Azure services
- Part 3: Describe core solutions and management tools on Azure
- Part 4: Describe general security and network security features
- Part 5: Describe identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features
- Part 6: Describe Azure cost management and service level agreements
This is also a fantastic way to prepare for the Microsoft Certification Exam AZ-900 Microsoft Azure fundamentals.
Up your game with a module or learning path tailored to today’s IT Pro, developer, and technology masterminds and designed to prepare you for industry-recognized Microsoft certifications.
Become Microsoft Azure Certified
It can be hard to know what to learn, because cloud computing and Microsoft Azure are such large fields. I often recommend picking, preparing, and taking a Microsoft certification exam and becoming Microsoft Azure certified. This is not only helpful for obvious reasons like better changes to find a job, a promotion or a salary increase, but also gives you a great overview of the skills you need depending on your job role. Most of the Microsoft certifications are based on job roles, so you can pick between certifications such as Azure Developer, Azure Administrator, Azure Security Engineer, Azure Solutions Architect, and many more, depending in which field you want to work in.
Microsoft Azure certification exams are also a great way to learn and verify your skills. A couple of months back, I wrote a series of blog posts on why you should become Microsoft Azure certified, how you prepare for Microsoft Azure exams, and how you take and pass Microsoft certification exams. Taking the new role-based Microsoft certification exams will help you to find the right topics and structure to learn, depending on your current or future job role you are looking for.
Earn certifications that show you are keeping pace with today’s technical roles and requirements.
If you are just getting started with Azure, look at the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam. You can also have a look at my experience with the different Azure exam certifications:
- Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam Study Guide
- Exam AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator Exam Study Guide
- Exam AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure Exam Study Guide
- Exam AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies Exam Study Guide
- Exam AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design Certification Exam Study Guide
- Exam AZ-305: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Exam Study Guide
- Exam AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies Exam Study Guide
- Exam AZ-600: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack Hub Exam Study Guide
- Exam AZ-700: Microsoft Azure Network Engineer Exam Study Guide
- Exam SC-900: Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals Exam Study Guide
- Exam DP-420: Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Developer Exam Study Guide
If you are having difficulties picking the right certification exam, check out my blog post: How to pick the right Azure Exam Certification path.
More resources to learn Microsoft Azure in 2022
There are a couple of more resources I want to point you to, to get started and learn Microsoft Azure and cloud computing, not just technology related but also how to set up your organization and more.
- Azure Architecture Center – The Azure Architecture Center contains guidance for building end-to-end solutions on Microsoft Azure. You will find reference architectures, best practices, design patterns, scenario guides, and reference implementations.
- Cloud Adoption Framework – The Cloud Adoption Framework is the One Microsoft approach to cloud adoption in Azure, consolidating, and sharing best practices from Microsoft employees, partners, and customers. The framework gives customers a set of tools, guidance, and narratives that help shape technology, business, and people strategies for driving desired business outcomes during their adoption effort. This guidance aligns to the following phases of the cloud adoption lifecycle, like Strategy, Plan, Ready, Migrate, Innovate, Govern, and Manage.
- Azure Migration Center – Get all the tools and resources you need to migrate your apps, data, and infrastructure at your own pace, with confidence.
- Azure Architecture Framework – A successful cloud solution requires to focus on these five pillars of architecture excellence: Cost, DevOps, Resiliency, Scalability, and Security. The Azure Architecture Framework helps you to build on these pillars.
- Application architecture guide – The Azure Application Architecture Guide presents a structured approach for designing applications on Azure that are scalable, resilient, and highly available. It is based on proven practices that we have learned from customer engagements.
- Azure Cloud Design Patterns – The Azure Cloud Design Patterns are useful for building reliable, scalable, secure applications in the cloud. Each pattern describes the problem that the pattern addresses, considerations for applying the pattern, and an example based on Microsoft Azure. Most of the patterns include code samples or snippets that show how to implement the pattern on Azure.
- Azure Reference Architectures – The Reference Architectures are a set of recommended architectures for Azure. Each architecture includes best practices, prescriptive steps, and a deployable solution.
- Architectural decision guides – The architectural decision guides in the Cloud Adoption Framework describe patterns and models that help when creating cloud governance design guidance.
- Cloud Operating model – Establish an operating model for the cloud.
- Get started guide for Azure developers – The get started guide helps developers get started with Azure and tools.
- Azure Quickstart Templates – Deploy Azure resources through the Azure Resource Manager with community contributed templates to get more done. Deploy, learn, fork, and contribute back.
- Code samples – Get started with Microsoft developer tools and technologies. Explore our samples and discover the things you can build.
- Azure Hybrid – Learn about Azure Hybrid Cloud with features and services like Azure Stack, Azure Arc, and many more.
- Azure for AWS Professionals – This article helps Amazon Web Services (AWS) experts understand the basics of Microsoft Azure accounts, platform, and services. It also covers key similarities and differences between the AWS and Azure platforms.
- Azure Security – Learn about Azure and security
- Azure compliance – Get an overview of compliance in Microsoft Azure, with more than 90 compliance offerings
- Azure privacy – Learn more about Azure data privacy and protection.
- Service Level Agreements (SLA) – Read the SLAs to learn about our uptime guarantees and downtime credit policies.
- Azure pricing – learn about how Azure pricing works and how you can save costs and get the best value at every stage of your cloud journey.
- TCO Calculator – Estimate the cost savings you can realize by migrating your workloads to Azure.
- Azure Support Plans – Explore the range of Azure support options and choose the plan that best fits, whether you’re a developer just starting your cloud journey or a large organization deploying business-critical, strategic applications.
I hope these resources give you a great summary of how you can start learning Microsoft Azure in 2022. If you have any questions, or you feel that some resources are missing, let me know in the comments. Also, subscribe to my blog to learn about the latest updates.